Plan a sporting chance

Four clubs � soccer, bowling, tennis and croquet � are based at the Bayswater ground, with the Bayswater City Soccer Club the clear winner.

Initiated last year by a request from the soccer club for an expansion to meet Football Federation Australia standards, the masterplan left croquet and tennis members disappointed and bowling members reasonably happy.

Recommendations in the masterplan include compliant pitches and supporting facilities for the soccer club and shared clubrooms for the tennis, bowling and croquet clubs.

Under the masterplan the soccer club would get three full size and two junior size pitches, while bowling would receive two synthetic greens and gains retractable covers.

The croquet club would lose one of its courts and the tennis club at least one-court and 10 grass courts, replaced with hard surfaced courts.

It also includes a nature-themed play area, designated dog exercise area and more parking spaces.

Mayor Sylvan Albert said the masterplan would benefit the whole community, with the redesigned reserve making it possible to facilitate more sporting grounds.

�The new design would also make it possible to host a wide range of sporting competitions, festivals and community events,� he said.

The masterplan is open for public consultation until May 8, with a community information drop-in session on April 23 from 3-7.30pm at The Drill Hall on Murray Street in Bayswater.

A hard copy of the draft masterplan is at the Civic Centre, the City’s libraries and its one-stop shops at the Galleria and The Rise.

More information can be found at www.bayswater.wa.gov.au/council/community-consultation.

Members of the Bayswater Croquet Club believe their club will no longer exist if the masterplan is implemented as it stands.

Treasurer Trevor Ashby said with the masterplan decreasing their courts by half, it would make it impossible to hold tournaments at the club.

�We don�t agree with the masterplan at all; we will be very much impacted,� he said.

IF there is no room to expand Bayswater City Football Club facilities at Frank Drago Reserve to meet Football Federation Australia standards it will have to relocate, says president Gerry Maio.

Mr Maio said the draft masterplan was a watered down version of what the club put forwarded to the City last year.

Mr Baldwinson said adding covers to the greens was beneficial but decreasing the number of greens didn�t support club growth.

�We�re going from four greens to two, one of which we are not using at the moment anyway so that�s no really loss,� he said.

�It does limit us to the number of teams we can host.

�At the moment we are under that limit but that does not mean to say in 10 years time that will be the case, particularly with a new facility.�

Mr Baldwinson said his concern was with the management side of things.

�The report hasn�t really addressed management. I recognise that it�s too early to really look in detail at that since it�s a draft and hasn�t really been endorsed by council yet, but the management issue of the three clubs is entirely different because we�re all coming from very unequal positions,� he said.

�The croquet have minimal expenses for their own club in terms of pitch maintenance, the tennis club have minimal maintenance for their grass courts, whereas currently we get no assistance from the council. To us the main source of income is the clubhouse and being able to use it to run functions.�

With the masterplan proposing to have a shared club room, Mr Baldwinson said the management had to take into account that the bowling clubs clubroom was its main source of income.

�Depending on how the management goes, if it�s worse case split three ways, any revenue you make out of the clubhouse goes three ways, then we�re in real trouble,� he said.

President Dan Kerrigan said with more than 500 children, the club was the fifth biggest in Perth and would continue to grow with the need to provide adequate courts. He said the main issues with the masterplan for the club were that all options decreased the number of courts and did not allow for any grass courts.

�I appreciate that there are some environmental and maintenance issues with grass courts but there is also consideration of older members and hard courts are hard on the knees,� he said.

�Australia has a heritage of at least having one grass court.

�As a club we would be at a disservice to tick off to say we�re not going to have any grass courts.�

Mr Kerrigan said fundamentally having a masterplan and a concept of where the club was going in the future was good but plans needed to meet all the clubs within the vicinity.

More efficient use of grounds would likely be cost-effective for all affected clubs.

�Each club would have to consider significantly how many club members they lose for a period of time while the club is not operational if you bulldoze everything,� he said.